Resigning Crabtree is an absolute must. I have little confidence in the Niners scouting dept. to find good talent at WR; this has been an issue for years.
For this simple reason--that a premier WR like Crabtree is hard to come by in general, but even moreso for the Niners in particular, I wouldn't be against paying market value for him; if we can offer something close, I think he'd take it. Hope we aren't competing with Dallas (his childhood fav); my buddy is a cowgirls fan & would be so annoying about it.
Patton may very well be a future star; however, if we are serious about keeping Crabs, that decision will need to be made no later than a year from now. In this context, I don't think the decision to let Crab walk could be made based on the belief that Patton will mitigate the loss. It is just to early in his career to know how he'll develop, how durable his body is over a couple seasons.. I want to see 3 years at least out of a player before deciding what they are, when this valuation directly impacts significant roster decisions.
Bottom line--we know what Crabs is at his worst,
we've watched him improve and become a top flight player. His chemistry w/Kap was indispensable for our late season triumphs, and the dearth of talent at WR was on full display last week against a quality D. Finally, losing Crabtree without replacing him with a similar caliber player could severely hamper Kap's ability to utilize his immense arm talent. this is huge.
Paying top dollar for Kap while weakening his arsenal of pass catchers is, ultimately, a poor investment that could hold the team back for years.
Signing Crab before Kap might also improve our leverage in dealing with Kap's extension; leaving him with a piss poor WR corps might compel him to demand more..s**t, I would if I were him.
I just want to add, on a somewhat different note , I don't see Vernon Davis as a WR. Not a natural pass catcher. He's an athletic freak that might just be more valuable as a decoy than as a primary option for offensive production. I love him still, but I like him as the #3 option, and even as that he can still be a top 5 TE.
Edit: I can think of one scenario in which I'd feel OK about seeing #15 go, at least with respect to the 49ers future success (he's my fav player , don't ask why,and prob will continue to be a fav of mine no matter where he goes after): Marcus Lattimore
plays this year,is a beast, and is the catalyst in giving our offense an identity, which has been kinda missing since Kap replaced Alex. So in this scenario, we once again have an elite ground game which foments a passing attack sort of in the mold of Big Ben's when Pitt was good, Vance McDonald
is an integral piece. Patton is putting up #s that, spread out over a year, rival those of top 10 Wr's.
So yea, in this dreamy scenario of ridiculous rookie production, maybe we'd be aite with out Crab. But the schematic concepts of this scenario, forgetting the players, is really what I want. can a ground game still win championships? I'm paranoid that Seattle will own us until we can beat them in other ways than through the air. They're just too good and too cheap (but smart, always gotta work the system especially the gov) with the whole coaching DB's to skirt the contact rules every play.
long ass post, if you're still reading, then here's my #1 thought about football lately: I f**kING HATE RICHARD SHERMAN AS A PERSON
[ Edited by BayAreaNinersFan on Sep 21, 2013 at 8:16 PM ]